Commonly Asked Questions

Painting Workshops

I’m just beginning to learn how to paint…
I‘VE NEVER REALLY PAINTED BEFORE; ARE YOUR WORKSHOPS APPROPRIATE FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME?

Yes – our thoughtfully choreographed workshops are perfect for the first time painter and all levels of experience in between! Yvette’s flexibly designed curriculum allows people of different skill levels and expertise to tailor their focus on specific areas of need and interest, meeting painters where they are in their particular stage of creative practice. Delivering a balance of education and soulful experience, Yvette breaks down the painting process into empowering lessons and insights that will inspire you to express yourself with increased skill and confidence. Small class sizes too mean plenty of one-on-one time with her in a nurturing, supportive environment – the perfect situation for any Creative!

I’m a more experienced painter…
PAINTING IS MY PASSION, AND I LOVE LEARNING NEW THINGS – BUT IT’S MOSTLY A HOBBY FOR ME.  DO I NEED TO BE A “SERIOUS” ARTIST TO ATTEND ONE OF YOUR WORKSHOPS?

Heavens, no! Whether you’re seeking a new perspective, simply needing to jump-start your creativity, or painting with acrylics is a new experience for you, the only real prerequisite is the willingness to approach painting with an open heart and mind. Our workshops are designed to give students the right balance of theory, design and composition, color-mixing, painting materials and instructions for using them, along with helpful shortcuts to boost practice-based knowledge quickly. Students adjust focus and intensity of study in accordance with their individual goals, and as skills mature, many return again and again to extend their painting knowledge and related areas of interest. Our workshops are always a great place to find new inspiration, new ideas, new friends!

I’m new to Abstract painting…
I’VE NEVER REALLY ATTEMPTED ABSTRACT PAINTING BEFORE; IS IT HARD?

Abstract painting is no more difficult than other styles of painting, and you’ll be surprised to know that many find it easier to jump into, than realistic types of work.This is because the emphasis on drawing and rendering is less, while attention to form, color and texture take center stage; this can be very freeing to some, who really just want to paint! Regardless of the style of paintings you make, composition and design “rules”, along with the many techniques for creating art are universal – which means what you learn about making Abstract art can also be applied to other types of creative art work.

I’m concerned about time with the instructor…
HOW MUCH ONE-ON-ONE TIME WILL I REALISTICALLY HAVE WITH THE ARTIST INSTRUCTOR?

Workshops are deliberately limited to just 8 students at a time, to ensure an intimate community, with plenty of personal attention and one-on-one support. Between short lessons and demonstrations, students work independently, receiving feedback and help from Yvette, as they progress their work. Oftentimes, similar painting “struggles” apply to multiple students at the same time, presenting opportunities to work in a smaller subset of the workshop group with Yvette as needed, or with a workshop helper who is a seasoned painter. We try to strike the right balance of help and empowerment to support learning and experimentation in equal measures!

I need info about medium and materials…
WHAT ART MEDIUM IS USED DURING WORKSHOPS, AND WHERE CAN I FIND THE SUPPLY LIST OF MATERIALS NEEDED ON YOUR WEBSITE?

Good news – we’ve taken care of all the hard stuff and there’s nothing for students to bring! Acrylic paints and painting mediums are used as a general rule for drying time reasons, but this is not to say these are the only materials used in our workshops. Each student is provided with a painting smock, canvas of their choice and size, and a basic “kit” of art materials and tools, dedicated for personal use. To encourage experimentation and discovery of new materials and possible techniques, an extensive breadth of complimentary art materials and tools that work well with acrylics is also available for shared use by students. Materials and tools included in your workshop equate to a roughly $300 store value for each student. Additionally, we make available for purchase, an expanded selection of artist and professional grade art supplies to students, desiring more specialized materials beyond the standard kit and shared materials, provided during each workshop.

Painting and Sightseeing Retreats

Sightseeing sounds great, but I’m not sure…
ARE ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES LISTED ON SIGHTSEEING DAYS SUPER STRENUOUS?

Not really. Most of the days involve short walks to the sites, etc. For the trip to Artist Point, there are many hiking options, ranging from short strolls to more rigorous routes. However, if hiking’s not really your thing, you also have the option of spending the afternoon picking berries or sketching the fabulous surrounding scenery. If your adventure tour involves travel to the San Juan Islands, access is by comfortable and spacious ferry boat over mild waters. Excepting for shopping in Friday Harbor, activities at Lime State Park, San Juan Island Winery and more involve mostly level terrain.

Field trip itineraries do sound great but……
PROVIDING LUXURY TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM ACTIVITIES IS A TERRIFIC FEATURE, BUT I REALLY HATE BEING STUCK IN A CAR. HOW MUCH TIME IS SPENT DRIVING PLACES?

The studio is approximately 8 miles from the pickup point each day, making your time in our comfortable Mercedes Sprinter van generally quite short on painting days. On sightseeing days, most scheduled destinations involve 15- 20 minutes between stops. Artist point is a roughly 50-mile drive from our starting point, but this distance is broken up with stops at several points of interest along the way. Regarding travel to San Juan Island, the ferry terminal with drive-on service is located 40 miles south of Bellingham in beautiful Anacortes. All other event days are short jaunts around our lovely little town and surrounding country side.

Can you be flexible about…
WHAT IF I WANT TO SKIP SOMETHING; DO I REALLY NEED TO PARTICIPATE IN EVERYTHING?

No – but you’re certainly encouraged to! Your time with us is about you having the best time possible, so we will make every effort to accommodate adjustments to the planned itinerary where possible.

How much leeway is there to…..
WE’RE EXCITED TO BE BACK IN THE NORTHWEST AND HAVE FRIENDS THAT LIVE NEARBY. OUR TIME IS LIMITED SO IT WOULD BE AWESOME TO SEE THEM; COULD THEY POSSIBLY JOIN US AT A SCHEDULED DINNER DURING OUR RETREAT?

Yes! Life is infinitely better with friends, so we’re happy to make arrangements to accommodate them, pending venue space and availability. Please let us know your needs, including any logistics requirements at the time of your booking.

I love painting but my partner doesn’t…
I’D LOVE TO BOOK A PAINTING AND SIGHTSEEING WORKSHOP FOR MY HUSBAND AND ME, WHO WOULD REALLY ENJOY SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES – BUT HE’S REALLY NOT INTERESTED IN LEARNING TO PAINT. IS THERE A WAY TO INVOLVE HIM IN ALL THE FUN WITHOUT THE PAINTING PART?

Yes! Spouses are most welcome, and opting out on art-making days in the Studio, (Monday, Wednesday and Friday of scheduled Retreat days), is no problem at all. Bellingham is a marvelous place to explore, and is sure to satisfy even the most wildly creative tastes! Contact us to discuss options based on specific needs and interests, at an adjusted price.

Custom Tailored & Group Retreats

I have a question about scheduling…
DO YOU OFFER YEAR-ROUND TRIPS, OR CERTAIN THINGS ONLY AT CERTAIN TIMES? WHAT IF I HAVE TO CANCEL AFTER MAKING A BOOKING?

Yes! The website lists our standard offerings for the year, giving you an idea of timelines for 3-day and week-long Painting and Sightseeing events. Painting Only workshops are offered monthly, while Business Development Clinics are offered quarterly, and Painting and Sightseeing Retreats are offered seasonally. Custom group events usually involve unique dates and activities suited to client needs, so we rely on demand to drive our business’ overall schedule and offer a bevy of activities suited to a variety of interests on our Custom Group Adventures page, that can easily be built into an unforgettable experience for your group. Please refer to our Policies and Limitations page for specific information about cancellations.

I need help understanding options…
I’D LOVE TO ARRANGE A FUN GETAWAY WEEKEND FOR ME AND SOME ARTISTIC FRIENDS. WHAT’S THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE REQUIRED TO MEET THE DEFINITION OF A “CUSTOM GROUP”?

You can book an entire adventure involving just your group if you have a minimum 4 people in your group. This means that for all activities including painting instruction, your group alone attends these things as a group – reserving your priority and privacy over other guests for the time period involved.

I will definitely need to arrange lodging…
WE ARE COMING FROM OUT OF STATE AND NEED HELP ARRANGING ACCOMMODATIONS. DO YOU WORK WITH ANY HOTELS, AND CAN YOU HELP US WITH THE PLANNING?

Bellingham lodging is abundant, and we encourage you to visit our local Bellingham Tourism page for a comprehensive list of options. We work with many local businesses, from budget to boutique lodging, offering options for every style, taste, and budget at a Corporate rate. Contact us to understand availability and limitations, and to make a booking through us.

I need help customizing our visit…
WE CAN’T DECIDE WHAT ACTIVITIES TO PAIR WITH OUR PAINTING EXPERIENCE – CAN YOU MAKE SOME RECOMMENDATIONS?

Yes! We can arrange pretty much anything around your group members’ interests, depending on time of year and interest in painting, as a relaxing and educational activity.  Check out the many activity options and interests we offer on our Custom Group Activities Page – then contact us to help design something unforgettable.

I need help with other aspects of our trip…
A CUSTOM RETREAT IS JUST PERFECT FOR OUR ART GROUP, BUT HOW WILL WE GET OUR FINISHED PAINTINGS HOME? DO YOU SHIP?

We certainly do! In fact, we think you’ll love your finished work so much in the end, that we take care of all the packaging and shipping details for you. Working with UPS and USPS to professionally wrap and ship items to you within 10 days, tracking details are provided for your convenience and peace of mind. Many of our workshop guests come to us from outside the area, so we typically provide this service to most everyone, attending a workshop event from out of state. You can count on us to find the most economical way to get your treasure safely home to you, so leave the worrying to us!